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Trouble looms in Anglican Diocese following bishopric elections

Trouble is looming at the Anglican Diocese of Maseno West after a faction that was defeated in the bishopric elections accused the electoral college of irregularities.

Following yesterday’s elections that saw Rev. John Mark Haung- Godia elected to succeed the outgoing bishop Joseph Otieno Wasonga, a faction that supported Canon Fancis Omondi called on the head of the Anglican Church in Kenya, Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit to nullify the elections and order for fresh polls.

Speaking on behalf of the faction today, Rev. Kenneth Wachianga said that failure to order for repeat polls may force them to go for other alternatives, among them seeking legal action or calling for a split of the diocese that covers slightly more than half of Siaya County.

“We cannot be criticizing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for presiding over flawed processes yet we as church leaders allow ourselves to be influenced to manipulate church elections” said the clergyman who spoke at St Marks Mindhine ACK church in Gem Sub County.

He said that they became alarmed when some of the electoral college members, especially from the church headquarters in Nairobi, were hijacked by one of the candidates and booked at a hotel in Kisumu, instead of a Busia hotel which had been earlier booked.

Wachianga said that though each of the three candidates that vied for the seat had two agents in the voting hall, none of them was allowed to verify the votes, as only the presiding officer, diocesan chancellor, Hesbon Omolo and his deputy took it upon themselves to count and announce the winner without indicating who got what votes.

“We are urging the head of the church, Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit to intervene in this issue,” he said.

He lamented that the church was headed to the wrong way if church leaders can indulge in dirty tricks in their quest for leadership.

Yesterday, the Maseno West ACK diocese held its elections, where Rev. Godia beat two contestants, Canon Omondi and Prof. James Kombo of Daystar University to become the bishop-elect.

Godia, the current diocesan secretary, in his acceptance speech, called on his competitors and Christians to join him in building the church.

He will be installed on September 1, 2019 to replace Wasonga.

By Philip Onyango

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